Jammu – The City of Temples

It is narrated that there was a dense jungle on the outskirts of river Tavi over three thousand years ago. The King of the state of Baho, called Jambo Lochin went there for hunting. He witnessed a tiger and a goat drinking water from the same place. He was impressed by the animal’s relationship. He thought it was inappropriate to kill such tolerant animals. He expected human beings’ relationships to be even stronger and their qualities even better. As a result, the King consulted with his companions and decided to build a city there. The city was named as Jambo, which gradually settled as Jammu.

Jammu City

Jammu is the largest city in the Jammu region and the winter capital (November to April) of Indian occupied State of Jammu and Kashmir and is situated on the banks of Tawi river. It is a municipal corporation of Jammu which is also known as the City of Temples owing to the number of historical temples and domes of old mosques located within the city. With its fastest growing urban agglomerations and booming infrastructure. The winter capital of the state is the second largest city in the state.

Jammu is located at 32.73°N 74.87°E. It has an average elevation of 327 m (1,073 ft). Jammu city lies at uneven ridges of low heights at the Shivalik Hills. It is surrounded by the Shivalik range to the north, east and southeast while the Trikuta Range surrounds it in the north-west. It is approximately 600 kilometers (370 m) from New Delhi.

The city spreads around the Tawi River with the old city overlooking it from the north (right bank) while the new neighborhoods spread around the southern side (left bank) of the river. There are four bridges on the river. The fifth bridge on the Tawi river is under construction and will be ready soon. The city is not flat.

One part is high and other is low and the city spreads on these uneven ridges of very low heights. The Bahu Hill and the old city spread on each bank of Tawi are the highest points with the Royal Dogra Palace at another height overlooking it. The airport is situated at Satwari.


The name Jammu is derived from its ruler who founded it. Raja Jambulochan founded this city and named it Jambupora which later changed into Jammu. Many historians and locals believe that Jammu was founded by Raja Jambu Lochan in the 14th century B.C. During one of his hunting campaigns, he reached the Tawi River where he saw a goat and a lion drinking water at the same place. Having satisfied their thirst, the animals went their own ways. The Raja was amazed, abandoned the idea of hunting and returned to his companions. Recounting what he had seen, he exclaimed that this place, where a lion and a lamb could drink water side by side, was a place of peace and tranquility. The Raja commanded that a palace be built at this place and a city was founded around it. This city became known as Jambu-Nagar, which then later changed into Jammu.


Jammu has historically been the capital of Jammu Province and the winter capital of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir princely state (1846-1952).

Jambu Lochan was the brother of Raja Bahu Lochan who constructed a fort, Bahu Fort, on the bank of river Tawi.

The city’s name figures in the ancient book, Mahabharata. Excavation near Akhnoor, 32 kilometers (20 mi) from Jammu city, provides evidence that Jammu was once part of the Harappan civilization. Remains from the Maurya, Kushan, Kushanshahs and Gupta periods have also been found in Jammu. After 480 C.E., the area was dominated by the Hephthalites and was ruled from Kapisa and Kabul. They were succeeded by the Kushano- Hephthalite dynasty from 565 to 670 C.E., then by the Shahi from 670 CE to the early 11th century, when the Shahi were destroyed by the Ghaznavids.

Jammu, is also mentioned in accounts of the campaigns of Taimur. The area witnessed changes of control following invasions by Mughals and Sikhs before finally falling under the control of the British. The Dev Dynasty ruled it for about 984 years from 840 C.E. to 1816 C.E. The city remained scientifically in isolation and lagged behind other Indian cities. Then came the Dogra Rule that revived its ancient glory by building great temples, mosques, renovated old shrines, built educational institutes and many more. A 43 km long railway line connecting Jammu with Sialkot was laid in 1897 but it was abandoned after the Partition of India as the railway link to Sialkot was broken. Jammu had no rail services until 1971, when the Indian Railways laid the Pathankot-Jammu-Tawi Broad Gauge line. The new Jammu Tawi station was opened in 1975. In 2000, much of the old railway station was demolished to make way for an art center.

After the partition of India, Jammu continued to be the winter capital of the state.


Jammu, like the rest of north-western India, features a humid subtropical climate, with extreme summer highs reaching 46 °C (115 °F), and temperature in the winter months occasionally falls below the freezing point. June is the hottest month with average highs of 40.6 °C (105.1 °F), while January is the coldest month with average lows reaching 7 °C (45 °F). Average yearly precipitation is about 42 inches (1,100 mm) with the bulk of the rainfall in the months from June to September, although the winter can also be rather wet. In winter dense smog causes much inconvenience and temperature even drops to 2 °C (36 °F). In summer, particularly in May and June, extremely intense sunlight or hot winds can raise the mercury to 46 °C (115 °F). Following the hot season, the monsoon lashes the city with heavy downpours along with thunderstorms; rainfall may total up to 669 millimeters (26.3 in) in the wettest months.


Jammu city has a railway station called Jammu Tawi (station code JAT), that is well connected with major cities of India. The old railway link to Sialkot was broken after the Partition of India and Jammu had no rail services until 1971, when the Indian Railways laid the Pathankot-Jammu-Tawi Broad Gauge line. The new Jammu Tawi station was opened in 1975 and is an originating point for Express trains. With the commencement of the Kashmir Railway, Jammu-Tawi will gain dual importance. All trains to the Kashmir Valley will pass through Jammu-Tawi. A part of the Kashmir railway project has been executed and the track has been extended to Udhampur. Some of Jammu Tawi’s trains have been further extended to Udhampur and to Katra with the starting of the Udhampur-Katra railway line in 2013. Jalandhar-Pathankot-Jammu-Tawi section has been doubled and its electrification is planned to be completed by mid-2013.


National Highway, 1.A, which passes through Jammu connects it to the Kashmir Valley. National Highway, 1.B, connects Jammu with Poonch town. Jammu is just 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Kathua town, while it is 68 kilometers (42 mi) from Udhampur city. Katra is also 49 kilometers (30 mi) away.


Jammu Airport is about 7 kilometers (4 mi) from Jammu city. It has direct flights to Srinagar, Delhi, Chandigarh, Leh, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Local Transport

The city has mini buses for local transport which run on some defined routes. These mini buses are called Matadors. Besides this, auto-rickshaw service is also available. Local taxis are also available. Cycle rickshaws are also available for traveling for short distances.


Jammu city serves as the winter capital of Jammu Kashmir state from November to April when all the offices move from Srinagar to Jammu. Srinagar serves as the summer capital from May to October. Jammu was a municipal committee during 2001, census of India. With effect from 5 September, 2003, it has upgraded its status of a municipal corporation.


Jammu city is the main cultural and economic center of the administrative division of Jammu. The city has a number of small industries. The industrial estates of Gangayal and Bari-Brahmana are the largest in the entire state. Jammu has a number of foodgrain mills. Jammu also has the largest number of shopping complexes, cinemas, recreation centers in the state. At present the real-estate business is flourishing but some anomalies in the constitution of the state have made it lag behind other cities.


Currently, Jammu has underdeveloped infrastructure but still there are some buildings in Jammu.

Super Specialty Hospital

It is one of the major hospitals in the state. Currently, under construction and located near the Jammu Flyover, is a multi facility hospital.


Tourism is the largest industry in Jammu as in the rest of the state. It is also a focal point for the pilgrims going to Vaishno Devi and Kashmir Valley as it is the second last railway terminal in North India. All the routes leading to Kashmir, Poonch, Doda and Ladakh start from Jammu city. So, throughout the year, the city remains full of people from all the parts of India. Places of interest include old historic places like Mubarak Mandi, Purani Mandi, Rani Park, Amar Mahal, Bahu Fort, Raghunath Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, Karbala, Peer Meetha, Old city and a number of shopping places and fun parks, etc.

Bahu Fort

Bahu Fort, which also serves as a religious temple, is situated about 5 km from Jammu city on a rock-face on the left bank of the river Tawi. This is perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in Jammu city. Constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan about 300 years ago, the fort was improved and rebuilt by Dogra rulers. Inside the fort, there is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali, popularly known as Bave Wali Mata, the presiding deity of Jammu. Every Tuesday and Sunday pilgrims throng this temple and partake in “Tawi flowing worship”. Today, the fort is surrounded by a beautiful terraced garden, which is a favorite picnic spot of the city folk. Bagh-e-Bahu located on the banks of Tawi River, is a Mughal-age garden. It gives a nice view of the old city and Tawi River. Bagh itself is very beautiful. There is a small cafeteria on one side of the garden. On the by-pass road behind Bahu Fort, the city forest surrounds the ancient Mahamaya Temple overlooking the river Tawi. A small garden surrounded by acres of woods provides a commanding view of the city. Opposite the Bahu Fort, overlooking the River Tawi is a temple dedicated to Mahamaya of Dogra descent, who lost her life fourteen centuries ago fighting foreign invaders. The present temple of Bawey Wali Mata was built shortly after the coronation of Maharaja Gulab Singh, in 1849. It is also known as the temple of Mahakali and the goddess is considered second only to Mata Vaishno Devi in terms of mystical power.

Raghunath Temple

Amongst the temples in Jammu, the Raghunath Temple takes pride of place being situated right in the heart of the city. This temple is situated at the city center and was built in 1857. Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir, in 1835 A.D. and was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheets on three sides. There are many galleries with lakhs of saligrams. The surrounding Temples are dedicated to various gods and goddesses connected with the epic Ramayana. This temple consists of seven shrines, each with a tower of its own. It is the largest temple complex in northern India. Though 130 years old, the complex is remarkable for sacred scriptures, one of the richest collections of ancient texts and manuscripts in its library. Its arches, surface and niches are undoubtedly influenced by Mughal architecture while the interiors of the temple are plated with gold. The main sanctuary is dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s eighth incarnation and Dogras’ patron deity, the Rama. It also houses a Sanskrit Library containing rare Sanskrit manuscripts.

Peer Kho Cave

Alongside the same Tawi River is the Peer Kho Cave temple, the Panchbakhtar temple and the Ranbireshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva with their own legends and specific days of worship. Peer Kho cave is located on the bank of river Tawi and it is widely believed that Ramayan character-Jamvant (the bear-god) meditated in this cave. The Ranbireshwar Temple has twelve Shiva lingams of crystal measuring 12″ to 18″ and galleries with thousands of saligrams fixed on stone slabs. Located on the Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat, and built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883 A.D, It has one central lingam measuring seven and a half feet height (2.3 m) and twelve Shiva lingams of crystal measuring from 15 cm to 38 cm and galleries with thousands of Shiva lingams fixed on stone slabs.


As of the 2011 India census, the population of Jammu city within jurisdiction of Jammu Municipal Corporation was 503,690 and the population of Jammu urban agglomeration (including adjacent urban areas) was 953,826. Males constituted 52.7% of the population; while female numbers constituted 47.3% of the population. The sex ratio was 898 females per 1,000 males against Indian average of 940. Jammu had an average literacy rate of 89.66%, much higher than the Indian average of 74.4%: male literacy was 93.13% and female literacy was 85.82%. In Jammu, 8.47% of the population were under 6 years of age. The principal languages spoken are Dogri, Hindi, Kashmiri, Urdu and English.


  • University of Jammu.
  • Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences & Hospital.
  • Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, R.S.Pura.
  • Government College of Engineering & Technology, Jammu.
  • G.G.M. Science College, Jammu.
  • Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu.
  • I.C.E.S. College of Engineering & Technology.
  • Mahant Bachittar Singh College of Engineering & Technology (MBSCET) Baliana, Jammu.
  • Maharaja Harisingh Agri Collegiate School.
  • Model Institute of Engineering and Technology (M.I.E.T), Kot Bhalwal, Jammu.
  • Sainik School, Nagrota.
  • Border Security Force (BSF) Senior Secondary School Jammu (Paloura). Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu.
  • Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University Katra, Kakrial.
  • Sri Pratap Memorial Rajput College of Commerce, B.B.A, B.C.A.
  • National Institute Of Technology And science.


Jammu is known for its sund panjeeri, patisa and its exotic local food-rajma, (with rice) which is one of the specialty dishes of Jammu. Another specialty of Jammu is kalaadi which is processed cheese. Ingb Dogri food specialties include ambal, khatta meat, kulthi ki dal, dal patt, maa da madra, rajma and auraiya. Pickles typical of Jammu are made of kasrod, girgle, mango with saunf, jimikand, tyaoo, seyoo, and potatoes. Auriya is a dish made with potatoes. During weddings it is typical to make kayoor and kund. Jammu cuisine features various chaats specially gol gappas, gachaalo, gulgule, rajma kulcha, nutri kulcha, etc.

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